Now that Congress has passed President Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill it must turn its attention immediately to passing legislation to delay billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare.
The pending cuts are due to a rule, the PAYGO Act, which was passed in 2010 and which corrects for additions to the federal deficit by automatically cutting funding from certain departments and programs.
If Congress does not pass the new legislation, there will be a 2% cut starting April 1 and then a 4% cut in Medicare funding amounting to $36 billion in early 2022. The cuts would be in place for each of the next five years.
TSCL opposes these cuts for a number of reasons. Medical practices in particular have been hurt by the pandemic and should not have to face lower Medicare reimbursements.
According to the Congressional Research Service, patients would be unlikely to see a reduction in benefits or any other direct impacts of sequestration, but it would have a large impact on how much providers are paid by Medicare for their services, sending them back to pre-pandemic rates.
However, it is possible that some doctors and hospitals may opt not to accept Medicare due to lower cost reimbursements or providers may also try to pass extra costs to consumers.
TSCL strongly supports quick passage of the urgently needed legislation to stop the cuts.